The liberal Centar party's candidate Ivica Puljak on Sunday scored a landslide victory in the Split mayoral runoff, winning 27,496 votes, while his opponent Zoran Djogas, nominated by the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), won 13,243, according to the State Electoral Commission.
Puljak and his deputies, Bojan Ivosevic and Antonio Kuzmanic will run the city until the next regular local election in spring 2025.
The government called a snap election in Split after Puljak, Ivosevic and Kuzmanic resigned on April 8, having lost their partners’ support in the City Council.
The turnout in the runoff was 28.36 percent.
In his first address after the victory, Puljak said the people of Split had sent a clear message that his team’s advocacy of order and public interest was right, and that the city would be run differently than over the past 30 years.
The people have decided that Split should be a city without a privileged class, with public tenders and not clientelism, he added.
Puljak said he would begin talks with the Social Democratic Party and the Mozemo! platform on Monday already, on forming a majority in the City Council. The only thing Centre wants from their cooperation is that there is no attitude of ‘dividing the loot’, he added.
Puljak said his communication with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to date had been professional and that he hoped it would stay so.